Quote Origin: Imitation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery That Mediocrity Can Pay To Greatness

Oscar Wilde? Charles Caleb Colton? Herbert Beerbohm Tree? Punch Magazine? Dublin Monthly Magazine? Anonymous? Question for Quote Investigator: Words and deeds are imitated when they are deemed useful, popular, or admirable. However, a simulacrum is inferior when compared to the original. A wit once said: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can …

A Committee Should Consist of Three People, One of Whom Is Always Sick and the Other Is Always Absent

Herbert Beerbohm Tree? Hendrik Willem van Loon? E. V. Lucas? Charles Haddon Spurgeon? Robert Oliver Jones? Lord Palmerston? Cedric Hardwicke? Robert Copeland? Question for Quote Investigator: Committees are common tools for decision making, but detractors have highlighted their inefficiency, unimaginativeness, and inflexibility. Here are four examples from a pertinent family of humorous remarks: (1) The …

Dear Sir, I Have Read Your Play. Oh, My Dear Sir. Yours Faithfully

Herbert Beerbohm Tree? Albert Chevalier? John Clayton? Johnston Forbes-Robertson? John Golden? James Wallen? John Alfred Calthrop? Charles Dillingham? Anonymous? Apocryphal? Dear Quote Investigator: Successful producers and directors are regularly sent screenplays and scripts by individuals with high aspirations. Unfortunately, these products of creativity are often terrible. One theater manager in the 1800s responded with a …

Why Don’t You Carry a Wrist Watch Like Everyone Else?

Herbert Beerbohm Tree?  Frederick Henry Townsend? George du Maurier? Yogi Berra? Mutt and Jeff? An inebriate? A woman carrying packages? Dear Quote Investigator: I have read several instances of a popular comical anecdote. Two different versions featured baseball Hall-of-Famer Yogi Berra. One night he was presented with a grandfather clock at a banquet dinner. Yogi …

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